Shocked!

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On 10/28/2013 09:50 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Not exactly. It useta be the case that a copper or steel water service could be used as the grounding means for an electrical panel. Today, it functionally can work that way, but it is not code compliant to rely on the water service for the ground. However, you are still required to *bond* the panel ground bus to the water service, assuming that it's metal. So it still looks the same, but the reasoning behind that identical connection is very different.
A new construction house would require an additional ground wire at the electrical panel and that would go outside and be connected to a network of several ground rods driven into the ground, *that* being the primary means of grounding.
The phone, CATV, etc. *should* be grounded back to the electrical panel, although functionally if they are connected to the water service, and that in turn is bonded to the panel, which is connected to a network of ground rods, that will in effect be a more roundabout way of accomplishing the same thing.

Agreed, but like I said above, current code does not recognize a metal water service as being a grounding means anymore but as something that needs to be bonded to an accepted ground.
It would appear from the OP's message that his house is one of those special cases that illustrates just *why* this change in code was made; clearly he does not have a modern code compliant grounding network and/or the water pipes inside the house are not bonded to same, and the water service is not providing a good ground either because a jumper over an insulating element like a meter is missing/corroded or a metal service has been replaced by ABS or some nonconductive material.

We can always learn. But this is one of those things that needs to be approached with caution...
nate
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On Monday, October 28, 2013 10:16:23 AM UTC-4, Nate Nagel wrote:

It's not code compliant for the water service pipe to be the *only* grounding electrode, but it is code compliant for the water service pipe to be used as one of the grounding electrodes.
However, you are still required to

No it's not, because per code the water pipe may serve as a grounding electrode. It's not just a bonding issue.

I don't believe NEC distinguishes and calls any one method the primary ground. And there are other and better methods of grounding in new constructions, Ufer being an example. They do require that a water pipe can't be the only grounding electrode.

Agree, in new installs today they usually bring everything in where the electrical panel is and ground everything there. And that is the best way.
But Robert was telling the guy if he has a phone, CATV, etc grounded to a water pipe that it's not code compliant. The OP has an old house and if was done that way, then what he has is still perfectly fine. There are millions of houses out there with CATV, phone, etc grounded that way. There is nothing in today's code that says he has to change it, etc. Sending the OP who doesn't have much in the way of electrical skills on a wild goose chase based on incorrect info isn't productive.

Not true. Check the NEC.
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On 10/28/2013 12:05 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

*If* you have a 10' long or longer metal underground water service, it must be part of the grounding electrode system. However, you *must* provide supplemental grounding in that case, and that has been the case for quite a while. However, there are plenty of houses out there where the ground/neutral bus in the main panel is bonded to the water piping where it enters the house, and to no other supplemental ground, as that was accepted practice in the 1970s and earlier. Those would have been code compliant when built, but would not be code compliant today.
http://www.prospex.us/DOCS/ELECTRICAL/ELECTRICAL%20SYSTEM%20BONDING%20AND%20GROUNDING%20.pdf
(page 8)

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On Monday, October 28, 2013 1:49:20 PM UTC-4, Nate Nagel wrote:

I agree. And I'm sure you agree that "not code compliant today" doesn't mean that those older systems are now unsafe, have to be upgraded, etc. As long as you're not replacing them, etc, they can stay that way.
My main point was that Robert suggested that the OP go look for anything like a CATV, Phone, electric panel, etc that has a ground wire attached to the water service and that it's no longer code. I believe we agree that to have the panel grounded to the water service is part of the current code, so that part of what was posted is 100% wrong.
And it's not unusual to find CATV, phone etc grounded to a cold water pipe at various points where they come in to an older house. That's how it was done in years gone by. Even today you can do it as long as it's within 5 ft of where the water service enters the house.
I had visions of the OP finding his CATV grounded to a cold water pipe, or the panel connected to the incoming water service and saying "Oh, there's the source of my shocks or there's something that's wrong that needs to be fixed because it's not code, etc".
Robert has since stated that he meant that the OP should go find those ground points so that he can tell the electrician where they are. Had he said that to begin with, I would not have disagreed.
An even more direct idea would be to map out the portion of the water system that is energized, follow it as much as possible, see if anything is connected to THAT portion. And see if that portion is seperated by some plastic piping etc from the rest of the water system. If he finds it has a PVC section separating it from the rest of the metal piping, then the search can proceed for what's energizing that section.
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On 10/28/2013 02:19 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Agreed. I would, however, were it my house, consider adding some supplemental ground rods if it was convenient to do so, just for peace of mind. I probably wouldn't bother to rework any grounds to water pipe however unless I had a good reason to do so. Also, would consider adding GFCI receps definitely in the bathrooms if the house is old enough to have dodged that requirement, additionally for clothes washer etc. just for extra safety.

I'd say priority one is figuring out *what* is energizing the pipe; can be done by unplugging equipment and/or turning off breakers. And the most important point, if turning off the main breaker does not make the issue go away, call in the pros and the power company TDS.
nate
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On 10/28/2013 11:49 AM, Nate Nagel wrote:

My house has only a metal water service pipe as an earthing electrode. It was code when installed. As far as the NEC is concerned it is compliant today. If I replace the service it won't be compliant.
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On 10/28/2013 8:16 AM, Nate Nagel wrote:

"Can"? If there is a metal water service pipe (10 ft...) it is *required* to be used as an earthing electrode.

For over 50 years you needed a "supplemental" electrode if the water service pipe might be replaced with plastic. More recently you need a "supplemental" electrode in any case.

Nonsense. If you have a plastic water service, interior metal water piping must be "bonded" to the electrical ground.
If there is a metal water service (10ft...) it is *required* to be connected as an earthing electrode.

Wrong again. Earthing electrodes form a system. A metal municipal water system will have a lower resistance to earth than any other electrode available at a house. Ground rods are close to a joke. In new construction with a concrete footing or foundation a "concrete encased electrode" must be created. It is a good electrode (and ground rods are not required).

For quite a while entry protectors, if they are connected to the water pipe (metal water service) must be connected within 5 ft of the entry to the house. The earthing electrode connection must be connected in the same 5 feet. (and of course, bonded water meter.)

Wrong still, twice.

I don't have a clue what the OP has.

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In my old house, the box was near a water pipe. That's were ground was attached. New box had ground wire going all the way to the water inlet before meter. The water pipe might have provided a better ground, but that's not code. Extra ground rods were also installed.
Greg
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wrote:
<Trader's signature boatload of triple spaced quotes snipped and cleaned up> > >> If you want to do something before help arrives, I might *look* (but not

the

longer

Thanks, Philo, for pointing out what I actually said rather than what a very angry Trader *claims* I said. This is precisely why it's mostly useless to argue with him since he'll stuff words in your mouth and then berate you for saying something you never said. <sigh>
It's too bad, too, because when he's not enslaved to his own anger, he's a fairly astute diagnostician. That's the only reason I haven't yet plonked him. He occasionally offers some valuable insights. If only he could learn to control his anger . . .
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Bobby G.



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On 10/28/2013 09:05 AM, Robert Green wrote:

Yep, that's one problem with human nature and Usenet.
Two people who probably agree on something making a simple mis-interpretation then going ballistic with anger.
At any rate, this issue is something the OP should in no way be fooling with. The worst advice was given by the guy who said ...try this and then see if you still get a shock.
Also: Once the problem is fixed, the suggestion to install ground fault outlets in laundry, bathroom and kitchen areas...is a good suggestion.
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On Monday, October 28, 2013 10:39:31 AM UTC-4, philo  wrote:

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It wasn't a misinterpretation of anything. And before agreeing with Robert that a CATV, phone line, electrical panel, with a ground connection to the water supply line is something that is wrong, not code compliant, something the OP should look for, suggesting any of that is the cause of his shock, you might want to check your facts.
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On Monday, October 28, 2013 10:05:07 AM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:

Here for the record is what you said:
"If you want to do something before help arrives, I might *look* (but not touch) for any clamps with wires that are attached to your water supply lines. Incoming phone terminals, CATV lines, the circuit box area and the furnace areas are places you might find a ground wire connection (no longer code). "
What exactly is the purpose of that process? He looks around, he sees that the cable tv service has a ground wire that runs over to a cold water pipe? What exactly is wrong with that? It's perfectly normal to see that. It exists in millions of houses. Yet, you're apparently suggesting that it has something to do with his problem and that it's a code violation.
He sees a ground wire running from his "circuit box" over to a cold water service pipe. What exactly is wrong with that? Where does NEC say that is not allowed? What does that or anything else you posted above have to do with his problem?
His problems as others have stated are:
A - Somehow at least part of his water system is getting energized.
B - That part of the water system is not properly grounded.

If only you knew what you're talking about instead of sending people off on wild goose chases.
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On 10-28-2013, 12:17, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

You looked at "no longer code" and saw "wrong"
Not obvious what he meant, but he didn't _say_ "wrong"
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Wes Groleau

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On Monday, October 28, 2013 6:49:37 PM UTC-4, Wes Groleau wrote:

I agree it's not obvious what he meant. But when you tell s novice who is having a problem to go look for something and if you find it, it's "no longer code", what do you think they might infer? Seems reasonable to me that they would infer that it needs to be corrected and that it has something to do with his shock problem.
And then the statement itself that it's no longer code is wrong, unless you think a wire going from the panel to a metal cold water pipe is a code violation. A metal water service line can serve as one of the grounding electrodes and the metal water system of the house has to be bonded to the panel. So, seeing a wire connection from the panel to a water pipe is permissible under current code.
It is also currently code compliant to ground an incoming CATV, phone wire, etc to a water pipe provided it's within 5 ft of where it enters the building.
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On 10-28-2013, 19:54, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

He didn't say 'violation' either. Said the ambiguous "not code" and other comments made it clear he doesn't think it's a violation.
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On Monday, October 28, 2013 11:22:23 PM UTC-4, Wes Groleau wrote:

And once again, as I've pointed out about 6 times now, it's not true that it's "not code" today to have a wire running from the panel to a water pipe. It's not true that it's "not code" today to under certain circumstances to have the CATV, phone grounded to a water pipe. Not code means that you couldn't do that today, when in fact code says you can. Good grief.
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On 10-29-2013, 08:20, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

"not code" means whatever he was thinking when he wrote it. He doesn't speak our dialect. Get over it.
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Wes Groleau

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On Tuesday, October 29, 2013 1:55:47 PM UTC-4, Wes Groleau wrote:

Is that like arguing about what the meaning of "is", "is"? First, he didn't say "not code". He said it's "no longer code". The only reasonable in context interpretation of that is that it means you can't have a ground wire going to a water pipe because the code has been updated to disallow it. If you follow the thread, he even made that clear
"At least Philo knew I was specifically talking about ground wire connections made to water pipes at random places in the house. That's very clear to anyone but a raging flamer like you. Is that still code in NJ? I doubt it. They stopped approving such grounding methods *precisely* because of what's happened in Fred's case. "
(note with regard to the above, that he specifically listed the panel in his list of places to look for grounds to water pipes that are "no longer code", then he tried to change it to random places)
"It's clear why grounding to water pipes isn't the great idea it used to be even though in many old houses (like mine) you'll still find plenty of clamps attached to supply lines. The mains could be PVC, repairs in the house, even if it has copper plumbing could be plastic, etc. "
For the record, it's not only permissible to ground the panel to the incoming water service, ie it's one of the listed grounding electrodes, it's such a great idea, it's required. And the metal water pipe system of the house has to be bonded/grounded to the panel as well. You tried to claim he meant it's just *not required*, so you obviously don't know what you're talking about either, because that is still equally as wrong. There will be ground wires running from the panel to metal water pipes in new construction, following current code, today.

Why don't you get over the fact that he's wrong and stop making excuses for him And it's not an issue of speaking the dialect. "No longer code" is clear... Even if it wasn't clear, you think someone who can't speak the dialect is qualified to give advice to someone on what is or isn't a proper ground, current code, etc? Good grief.
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On Tuesday, October 29, 2013 2:23:31 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Let me correct the above to say "code had been updated to disallow it for new work. I think that's the most reasonable and generous interpretation of what he said. It's what every other person I can ever recall saying something is no longer code meant.
If you follow the thread, he even made

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On 10/28/2013 4:49 PM, Wes Groleau wrote:

"No longer code" is "wrong".
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